Macy and Anna Save Candyland Bite 18

lollipops.jpg

Chapter 36

The Castle at Last

    The sun was just beginning to creep over the edge of the world when they came in sight of the gates of Kandy Kastle. 

     "Oh," Macy gasped. "It's so beautiful!" The sun glinted off sparkling candy jewels which were set in row after row along the walls of the castle. The reds, blues, greens, and yellows were so brilliant and cheerful, Macy forgot there was danger ahead. 

    "Things look quiet," Hershey remarked. 

    "Yes, but we should proceed with caution all the same." Peter added. A few looks were exchanged between the men, and they easily and naturally divided themselves into groups surrounding the women. With Hershey, Alexander and King Kandy in the lead they approached the massive gate. A guard came toward them. His hands shook. 

    "My Lord," his voice shook too. "You are all right. How relieved I am to see you." He kept his eyes downcast as he angled his spear toward the center of the gate in a movement to deter them from moving forward. "However, I'm afraid I cannot let you pass." 

    "What?!" King Kandy thundered. "I am your king, you will let me pass!" The veins in his neck stood out. The guard's voice shook even harder, and his volume dropped so they all had to strain to hear him.

    "I'm terribly sorry, but I cannot let that happen. You will have to kill me, my lord."

    "Don't be silly man," the king's voice boomed loudly in the silent air. "I would no more kill you than kiss you. You will let me pass." The guard drew himself up to his full height and moved directly to the middle of the gate. For the first time, he looked the king directly in the eyes. 

    "I will not let you pass. You must kill me." 

    "Wait a minute, before anyone kills anyone," Hershey broke in. "Tell us what this is all about, Hopkins. It is Hopkins isn't it?" Hopkins the guard nodded. He cast his eyes downward again.

    "They are watching us right now," his voice had resumed shaking. "I cannot let you pass." he said miserably. Then, as though wrenched from the bottom of his belly the words tumbled out. "Lord Licorice is inside. He has my family, all my little ones and my wife, oh my beautiful wife. He made me promise not to let you inside. He told me that he would keep my family safe unless I let you inside. He said it is my life or theirs. Oh, my lord, please do not make me choose between you and my family. I have triplets!" Anna pushed her way forward.

    "How well do you act?" Her voice was sharp quick.

    "Uh, I won a prize for my one man act in the Great Charades last season," Hopkins replied, a little startled. 

    "Perfect. Follow my lead." Without further explanation Anna began shouting, "Cargo, Alexander, this man will not let us pass. Kill him!" She pointed her finger straight at Hopkins' heart. Hopkins' eyes widened. "Cargo, use the blade I gave you, your birthday blade!" She winked at Hopkins and whispered, "Trust me." A glimmer of understanding came into his eyes. Cargo stepped forward and brandished a glittering steel short sword. Alexander went behind Hopkins and held his arms tightly.

    "Die, and be done with it," He called and thrust the sword at Hopkins' heart. Behind them they heard Frostine gasp. 

    "Oh," moaned Hopkins. "I faint, I fall, I die." And he fell to the ground, moaning. The sword clattered to the ground.

    "Don't overdo it," Anna hissed. "Lie there until we are inside, then go find your family. We will take care of Lord Licorice." Then, one by one, the others stepped over and around Hopkins and made their way through the palace gate.

    "What just happened?" Frostine whispered to Macy. "I can't believe your brother would kill that poor man."

    "Anna's quick thinking and quick actions saved that man and his family," Macy replied quietly. "Last year she gave Cargo a trick sword. The tip of it collapses into the hilt when thrust at something. Cargo only pretended to kill the winner of the Great Charades." Frostine giggled.

    "You and your family are something else."